Feeling Full, et al

Feeling Full

I. Sustenance

Being hungry,
and wondering what this really means.
An interaction between brain, mouth, stomach,
signals, a need;
cell reproduction, and thus growing,
satiation and thus
being still,
a head falling back, eyes closed,
mouth open to sun and rain and whole sky
saying, “Ahh.”

II. My Heart

I left it in the Far West—
Big Sky Country, Montana
—in the sagebrush, in a valley.
I was told that a coyote
came and picked it up,
brought it back to her litter.
I found a new one in a gutter in
Midtown; brought it to
the drycleaner’s yesterday.
Picked it up this morning
and left it with the manicurist
along with a photo of the original
so she can file it down to resemble
it, the first, traces of which
remain somewhere in a
pup’s stomach.
I’ve been looking up recipes
with miso and ginger,
or maybe sweet peppers and rosemary.
Now I’m turning
the oven on to preheat
before I leave to fetch
my replacement heart
from the manicurist.
Maybe I’ll purchase some citrus—
plain, it would be too
bitter for me to eat.

Boy Made of Fire

I know a boy made of fire.
He smokes.
He speed-talks, he hop-walks.
Sometimes his world presses up against him too close.
Stoked and ignited, he’s dispossessed of his body,
and he expands outwards in white-hot plumes.
He may worry he’ll melt everyone.
He never does.
He talks too fast.

I wanna take him to a plush confined space.
I wanna split the horizon along its seam
where the black-green sea cradles the last rays of the sinking sun.
I wanna pull him inside the opening and
I wanna sew the crevice back up behind us.
I wanna just sit in there for a while, between earth and beyond,
catch his fire.
I wanna make him talk real slow.

Perseid Meteor Shower

Writing this under
the seal of night, can’t perceive
ink’s impact on paper.
Big one! Bright one,
there over the ocean with starlight veins:
expansive, jungle-dark.
And the moon: as she’s done everyone
else—not self, the villains,
the dying, the content to be here,
the animals and the thinkers,
the hard-working mice,
the voiceless cogs in the wheel—
the moon beholds me, knows
that I’m here.

She’s a doer, not a talker;
she releases experience in
like birds do in
bird-song, and I make my wish:

to express, without
pen touches lips,
to see, without
eyelids flutter.
To forget how to argue,
to forget an impulse to throw
others beneath my feet to stand
on them to reach the puffed raw sky, and Oh!
Another! Smaller this time.
Waves smash into sand—a death march,
crickets play Chopin,
one slow heartbeat on this roof by the Atlantic ocean,
on the North American continent—

The moon hears it and seven billion others,
inhales them, consumes them,
holds them on her celestial tongue
and lets the red juice run over her lips, digests and
transcends chemistry,
turns them into lunar light:
all of the great extraordinary things,
all of the black tragic things,
all of the poignant accidents in-between
that have ever occurred in history
charge at the speed of light on moonbeams,
land atop my head,
and illuminate
my hair.

Skye Hersh
Age 16, Grade 11
Hunter College High School
Gold Key

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